Presentation smells

In software development, code reviewers sometimes talk about smells – observations about a piece of code that, while not damning, are signs that the code may not be very good. I saw a presentation last week that suggested the idea of smells could be applied more widely. Presentation smells that I can think of include:

  • Apologising for not having enough sleep due to being up all night preparing the talk
  • Not having a narrative for your talk – why are you doing it? – why do you think it might be interesting to your audience?
  • Suggesting that there is too much content to fit into the talk
  • Reading your own (very dense) slides
  • Not following time cues from the facilitator

I’m sure there are more. Any suggestions?

Latex on Karmic Koala

I needed latex this morning. My quick tip for installing it on Ubuntu Karmic Koala is to install Texmaker via the “Ubuntu Software Centre” (which you should be able to find at the bottom of the Applications menu) and then install the

  • texlive-fonts-recommended
  • texlive-fonts-extra

packages on the command line with aptitude.  This sorted me out very quickly, and the interface for the new texmaker version in karmic seems excellent – attractive and intuitive.